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How Many Times did the Cock Crow?

Simeon and Simon

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Question:  Do you find it ironic that when Jesus was born there was a "Simeon" present, and at the close of His life we have "Simon" of Cyrene, since both names mean "to be heard"? Also Mark is the only one to mention that the rooster crowed two different times. Why?

Response:  On the Simeon/Simon observation, these are actually the same Hebrew name which for various reasons gets spelled one way or the other in Greek. The Hebrew name is Shimon (like the Israeli politician Shimon Perez). It is a pretty common name, given that it is the name of Jacob's second son, "Simeon", based on Leah's appreciation that the Lord was taking note of her neglect by Jacob in favor of Rachel: "the Lord heard" being the main idea behind the name (Gen.29:33). So this is a good observation on your part. The Lord's "hearing" of Israel's cry for a Savior can be seen in the early stages of the accomplishment of this process in Simeon's taking up of the child Jesus (Lk.2:25; cf. Lk.2:30: "my eyes have seen Your salvation"), and also when Simon of Cyrene takes up the Savior's cross (Lk.23:26) we see that same "hearing" as the plan of salvation is put into practice through our Savior's death on our behalf on that very cross (God's hearing of our need for redemption made manifest symbolically by both Simons at His birth and death, as you say).

As to the "rooster's crow", there are a number of differences between Mark and Matthew in particular which are to be explained by the different audiences for which they were originally written (Jewish believers in the case of Matthew; gentiles at Rome in the case of Mark: see "Seeing Double in Matthew"). This particular incident occurs in all the gospels. In John 18:15-27, the rooster crows after the third denial, and the same is true of Luke 22:56-62. This is also the case in Matthew 26:69-75.  Mark 14:66-72 only seems to be different.  The references to the rooster crowing "twice" in Mark are not to be found at all in the best of the manuscripts (e.g., it's absent in Sinaiticus).   Why some later scribe decided to add this incorrect detail is not known.

Please see also:  Christ the Rock, the Rooster's Crow, and the Cross

Yours in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bob L.


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